UltraCell Methanol Fuel Cells Used Successfully in New Zealand Defence Forces Field Trials

22 Jul 2013

UltraCell XX55Californian micro fuel cell developer UltraCell has announced the successful evaluation of its XX55 military fuel cell and CliC-It methanol filling station by the New Zealand Defence Forces (NZDF) Battle Lab. Trials of the XX55 systems began in 2012 and were expanded to include the CliC-It system before culminating in May 2013, where both systems were deployed during Exercise Alam Halfa, a multi-lateral field exercise involving US Army & Marine Corps and the Australian Army. During the trials the exercise, the XX55 systems were used to power mission-critical communications equipment, including radios, laptops and other devices compatible with the 5 V USB, 12 V DC cigarette lighter and 24 V DC outputs the unit offers.

Methanol is a commonly-available commercial item and the NZDF was able to locally source the liquid, which is mixed with deionised water in the CliC-It system to refuel cartridges for XX55 units. “We were pleased with the operation of the XX55 and CliCIt. Throughout our testing they have proved a stable and reliable power source. The fact that no complicated training was required and we were able to locally source methanol was an important success of the trial,” said Capt. Leabourne, of the NZDF Land Combat Working Group.

Fuel cells offer a lightweight and long-lasting alternative to the battery packs commonly used for solider-borne power in the military, with UltraCell boasting a 50–70% weight reduction in using the XX55 instead of its batter equivalent.

 

Reference: UltraCell


Industry Directory: UltraCell

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